- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The curtain has risen on a courtroom drama that could result in a precedent making colleges legally responsible for educating their athletes. A few weeks ago seven former basketball players from California State University at Los Angeles filed a suit for $14 million in punitive damages against the school. The suit is based on 10 causes of action, from breach of contract to fraud.
Essentially, the seven, none of whom ever graduated, claim that not only were they not given anything resembling an education at Cal State but that they are now being told they are obligated to pay for it because what they thought were scholarships were only loans.
Cal State has until the first week in March to make a response in court and until then there will be no word from that quarter. But the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Michele Washington of the Western Center on Law and Poverty, is willing to state the case as she sees it: the relationship of a scholar-athlete to his school and that school to the NCAA is a contractual one. The nature of that contract is that the college has a responsibility to provide and encourage education within its programs.
"The players got no education," says Washington. "They were discouraged from taking real courses and actually denied reasonable access to university services. They got nothing back for what they gave."
MAN BITES DOG
Mark Twain wrote: "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."
As if to prove Twain right once and for all, the New York Racing Association plans to ban all dogs from the back-stretch at Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga, beginning March 1, because 1) they run around loose and bite people and pester maintenance men, causing the maintenance men to lose eight manhours a week, and 2) they scare horses and cause accidents that result in insurance claims and lawsuits against the NYRA. The fact that they are also faithful night watchdogs and beloved companions to horse and man cuts no ice with racing officialdom.
As Mrs. Allaire duPont, the lady who owns Kelso, said to Russ Harris of the New York Daily News recently, "Dogs have been with horses ever since there have been dogs and horses.... Kelso had a little dog with him for 15 years and he was so fond of that dog that he grieved for him when the dog died."
We're with Kelso.